News In Brief

Welcome to our ‘News In Brief’ column in which we digest all the news releases for you and write them in no more than five paragraphs. Below are snippets of all the media releases that we received from August 16 till 22. Please check back throughout the week for more updates.

Central Global Bhd Increases  Production Capacity By 250 Per Cent

Kuala Lumpur, August 16: Central Global Bhd, a producer of industrial masking tapes and label stocks as well as general building contractor, is in the midst of finalising the purchase of machinery that will triple the Group’s manufacturing arm’s capacity to produce industrial masking tapes. 
With the purchase of the new machinery, the Group’s factory in Kuala Muda, Kedah, will have a capacity to produce up to 70 million square metres per year of tapes from 20 million sqm of tapes per year from the old machinery.
“This is perfect timing for us as we currently have new potential orders of up to 30 million sqm of masking tape orders from existing customers. The new machinery will make us even more productive and efficient while allowing us the capacity to grow the business,” Central Global executive chairman Datuk Faisal Zelman (pictured above) said.
“We are also able to fulfil backlog orders worth RM10 million from July and August that had been delayed due to the enhanced movement control order that was extended by two weeks in parts of Kuala Muda to the end of July. 
“We were only able to restart operations from August 1 and only at 60 per cent capacity for employees, but we are pleased to announce that all our employees will be fully vaccinated by August 23.”

Astro’s National Day and 25 Years of Serving Malaysians campaign

Kuala Lumpur, August 16: Astro marks this National Day with the theme #KitaTeguhBersama coincides with the company’s 25th year of serving Malaysians.
As a gesture of appreciation to all customers, Astro will launch Astro 25 on Channel 100, with specially curated content featuring the best of Malaysian and Asian entertainment, premieres, blockbuster hits, and new documentaries from August 16 to October 3 on Astro TV, On Demand and Astro GO.
“It’s a very special Merdeka and National Day for us this year and our theme, #KitaTeguhBersama means we’re stronger and better together,” Astro CEO Henry Tan said in a statement.

Henry Tan. Supplied.


“It is a reflection of the best of what we have seen in Malaysians and continues to be the common value we need for us to unite, recover and grow through these times.”
Customers can also enjoy an incredible slate of over 150 titles comprising the best Malaysian and Asian movies, all-time favourite entertainment and reality shows, and with more surprises to come.
Be sure to catch some notable Malaysian films, including Ola Bola, The Journey, Paskal, Polis Evo, and Hantu Kak Limah, which have achieved unimaginable box office success beyond anyone’s dreams.

UNSW Scientists Reflect On Being A Scientist

Sydney, August 16: UNSW Science is aiming to debunk science stereotypes by bringing to light the experiences of a range of scientists during this year’s National Science Week  held from August 14 – 22.
Dean of UNSW Science Professor Emma Johnston said she hopes the week will spark meaningful discussion about the future of science in Australia.
“Within our society, there is a common stereotype of scientists attributed to white lab coats, mixing liquids in beakers and working in a lab,” Prof. Johnston, a leading authority in marine ecology said in a statement.
“By exploring the misconceptions scientists hear about themselves and the work they do, we are hoping to build awareness – not only that everyone can do science, but that we need people from all walks of life to support a culture of innovation. The misconceptions experienced by eight scientists associated with UNSW are being uncovered in a series of videos and articles throughout National Science Week.

NEC to host NEC Visionary Week 2021

Tokyo, Aug 16: NEC Corporation has announced the Global Program for NEC Visionary Week 2021, an online annual event taking place from September 16 to 17 this year.
During the event, NEC will present a shared vision of the future that highlights its latest technologies, solutions and customer case studies from various business domains.
Themed “Seize the Future Together,” this NEC flagship event will offer exclusive global sessions over a two-day period, envisioning and co-creating a brighter, more sustainable world with partners and stakeholders.
The sessions will focus on how innovative technologies, such as AI and 5G, can contribute to addressing critical challenges for society, such as overcoming COVID-19 and implementing essential digital transformation measures in key industries.
For more details on the NEC Visionary Week 2021, click here.

ASEAN CARES Brings Hope to Vulnerable Communities Amid the Pandemic 

Kuala Lumpur, August 17:  3M, United Way Worldwide and ASEAN Foundation are pleased to announce that the ASEAN COVID-19 Active and Robust Response (ASEAN CARES) programme in Malaysia and Thailand has successfully concluded. 
Launched last October as a COVID-19 relief initiative, ASEAN CARES has provided aid to more than 14,300 individuals who were severely affected by the pandemic in both countries through the distribution of essential items, such as food supply and healthcare packages. 

ASEAN CARES brings hope to the vulnerable. Supplied.


Despite the movement control order being extended in Malaysia, ASEAN CARES managed to surpass the initial number of targeted beneficiaries by 84 per cent, reaching a total of 9,237 at-risk individuals in Johor, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, and Selangor areas receiving the much-needed food supply and healthcare packages.
Out of 9,237 recipients, 55 per cent of them were female, and more than 4,000 beneficiaries were migrants, refugees, and individuals from the Orang Asli community.
Furthermore, the social hand hygiene activity rolled out by the programme had also benefited more than 8,000 individuals. 

HMD Global Appoints TEAM LEWIS

Kuala Lumpur, August 17HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones and accessories, has appointed global marketing agency TEAM LEWIS, as its agency partner to drive its social and public relations campaigns in Malaysia. 
TEAM LEWIS will provide brand, communications and issues consultancy, as well as media relations, content creation and monitoring for Nokia mobile within Malaysia. 
The agency will work alongside HMD Global’s marketing team to bring the brand’s vision to life and strengthen Nokia mobile’s presence within the community as the relationship of consumers with their smartphones and technology continues to evolve. 

TEAM LEWIS wins HMD Global’s account. Supplied.


Ever since Nokia mobile’s ambitious re-entry to Malaysia, Nokia mobile has been committed to bringing a range of sophisticated and future-proof devices. 
Along with the latest features in smartphone photography and entertainment, Nokia mobile’s impressive range of smartphones and feature phones will also boost its legacy in quality and durability. 

ABA and JCB partner to enable payment acceptance in Cambodia

Phnom Penh, August 18: JCB International Co., Ltd., the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd., Japan’s only international payment brand, and Advanced Bank of Asia Ltd. (ABA Bank), the digital banking leader in Cambodia and a subsidiary of National Bank of Canada, signed the License Agreement and announced the launch of JCB payment acceptance in Cambodia.

ABA and JCB partner to enable payment acceptance in Cambodia
ABA and JCB partner to enable payment acceptance in Cambodia

This partnership will enable JCB Cards to be used at ABA merchant networks across Cambodia, which will provide greater convenience to JCB cardholders. JCB has been expanding the issuing business in the ASEAN countries including Cambodia.
“We are delighted to announce our partnership with JCB, one of the world leaders in payment services. Under the agreement, ABA merchants and JCB cardholders will be able to broaden their payment opportunities through our extensive networks across the country,” Askhat Azhikhanov, CEO of ABA Bank said in a statement.
“Witnessing solid economic and business ties of Cambodia and Japan, we believe that this cooperation will bring benefit to Japanese businesses and individuals in the Kingdom and will enhance the efficacy of the Cambodian payments industry.”
JCB and ABA plan to expand the partnership to all ABA merchants including acceptance at PayWay online payment platform and ATMs by the end of the year.

Coway Run 2021: Uniting the Nation (Virtually!)

Kuala Lumpur, August 18: After months of lockdown and work-from-home mandates, Malaysians have had their fill of sitting around at home.
With our current sedentary and isolated lifestyles, many of us may be looking for some extra motivation to stay healthy, or craving for ways to connect with each other safely.

Coway Run. Supplied.

This is precisely why Coway Malaysia is organising Coway Run 2021: Run for Your Region this September; its first inter-regional virtual run that combines fun, healthy living, and community spirit in one exciting event.
Kicking off on September 23 until October 23, the month-long run allows participants to run anytime and anywhere — as long as they keep their feet moving to log in those kilometres.
Being an inter-regional event, this year’s run will see participants teaming up by region (Northern, Central, Southern, East Coast and East Malaysia) for a friendly nationwide competition.

Boku Launches M1ST, Largest Mobile Payments Network

Singapore, Aug 18: Boku Inc. has launched M1ST (aka Mobile First), the world’s largest mobile payments network.
The M1ST Payments Network features an unrivalled 330+ mobile payment methods, including mobile wallets, direct carrier billing, and real-time payments schemes, reaching 5.7 billion mobile payment accounts in 90 countries – all through a single integration.
“The launch of M1ST will not only allow SEA merchants and digital consumers to connect within the region, but also to global markets seamlessly, with a payment method that is useful and convenient to them,” said Loke Hwee Wong, Vice President and General Manager, APAC at Boku.
“In a Confidence Index survey, 52 per cent of the merchants in SEA experienced a high level of growth during H1 2021 and 70 percent of these merchants are expecting additional growth of more than 10 percent in Q3 2021. This shows that despite the challenging times, digital consumers continue to make purchases digitally.
Boku’s 2021 Mobile Wallets Report showed that Southeast Asia will become the fastest growing mobile wallet region in the world: the number of mobile wallets in use by SEA consumers is projected to increase by nearly 25.5 per cent to reach 439.7 million mobile wallets in use by the end of 2025.

AFC Agrees Media Rights Deal With Football Sports Development Limited

Kuala Lumpur, August 18: The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) today announced Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) as their new media partner in the Indian subcontinent, which includes India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives.
The deal includes all major AFC national team and club competitions, including but not limited to the final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, as well as the annual club competitions, the AFC Champions League and the AFC Cup from the 2021 season.
“The AFC is delighted to enter into this partnership with FSDL, which represents another decisive step towards increasing the consumption of the AFC’s competitions and confirming football as Asia’s number one sport as outlined in the AFC’s Vision,” Datuk Windsor John, the AFC General Secretary said in a statement.
FSDL was established to develop Indian football as the commercial partner of the All India Football Federation, and to operate India’s top tier football league, the Indian Super League.
FSDL will be sub-licensing the media rights to partner channels and digital service providers, offering significantly more coverage of the AFC’s competitions on both linear and digital channels in a region where the passion for football has grown exponentially in recent years.

Drawing On Young Talent for Year of the Tiger

Sydney, August 19: The City of Sydney is calling on budding young artists to help make our Year of the Tiger celebrations a roaring success, with a competition that will see their designs on display across the city.
The winning illustrations will be seen on street banners, bus shelters, billboards and across advertising channels as part of the Sydney Lunar Festival 2022 from January 29 till February 13.
Six designs by junior Sydney illustrators aged 5 to 12 years will be selected, with the winning young artists also receiving a $150 arts and craft gift card.
Illustrations can be submitted using the entry form on our website from today.
Entries close at 5pm Sydney time on Monday September 13.

AFC Agrees To Rights Deal With DAZN In Japan

Kuala Lumpur, August 16: Following its recent acquisition of the AFC Champions League for the next eight seasons, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has today confirmed global sports streaming giants DAZN as the media rights partner in Japan for all major AFC national team and club competitions for the upcoming cycles in 2021-2024 and 2025 to 2028.
The latest announcement will see DAZN add the AFC’s world-class competitions to its impressive repertoire of sports streaming content including but not limited to the final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar, the AFC Asian Cup China 2023, the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 and the AFC U23 Asian Cup Finals 2022 and 2024.
“The AFC is delighted to reiterate our continued partnership with DAZN, and we are confident that DAZN will bring the AFC’s competitions closer to the millions of Japanese football fans in a nation that has a proven track record of success in Asian football, both on and off the pitch,” AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John said.
In addition, the AFC has also confirmed a free-to-air broadcast deal with long-standing partners TV Asahi to showcase selected matches of the final round of the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.
TV Asahi`s free terrestrial channel will broadcast Japan’s home matches in the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar in 2021 and 2022 as well as selected AFC Asian Cup China 2023 fixtures.

Sixth Belt And Road Summit Held Online In September

Hong Kong, Aug 19: Organised by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) and the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the sixth Belt and Road Summit will be held online on Sept 1 and 2 with the theme “Driving Growth through Fostering Regional and International Trade”.
The summit will explore how the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) can be leveraged together with the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) development and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) to forge multilateral collaboration and drive post-pandemic economic recovery as well as investment and business cooperation in various sectors.
This year’s summit will be held virtually, connecting global participants across different geographic boundaries and time zones. It will comprise a range of sessions and events, including the Opening Session, Policy Dialogue session, two Business Plenaries, a panel discussion and thematic breakout sessions, investment project pitching sessions as well as an exhibition and one-to-one business matching meetings.
The event will bring together more than 80 government officials and business elites from Belt and Road countries and regions, as well as project owners, investors and services providers from all over the world, to explore BRI opportunities.
In addition to benefiting from the inspiring sharing by renowned speakers, participants will also be able to learn about the current investment climate and opportunities in different regions and sectors, and build contacts with business potential counterparts on the spot.

MR D.I.Y. Distributes PPEs To 136 Services Nationwide

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 20: MR D.I.Y. Group (M) Bhd, Malaysia’s largest home improvement retailer, is channelling essential personal protective equipment (PPEs) worth more than RM432,000 to 136 healthcare and emergency services centres across the country. 
The initiative is a collaboration with the Malaysia Relief Agency (MRA) and is part of the Group’s continuing efforts to support frontliners and those helping to stem the effects of the COVID pandemic.
This time around, the PPEs are being channelled by MR D.I.Y. ‘s own logistics network to district police headquarters (IPD), health clinics, hospitals, and quarantine centres across Peninsular Malaysia. 
MRA assisted in identifying the services most in need of help, and will also coordinate the distribution of these supplies in Sabah and Sarawak.
This is the 62nd corporate social responsibility (CSR) programme that the MR DIY Group has initiated since the pandemic broke out in early last year.

MR D.I.Y.’s representatives (first on left & right) hand over the essential PPEs to one of the 136 beneficiaries, Hospital Pakar Sultanah Fatimah, at Muar, Johor. (second from left: Meteran Norlin binti Alwai (Hospital), second from right: Siti Zubaidah, President of Malaysia Relief Agency (MRA) Johor). Supplied.

Aussies Ambitious Call Ahead of Climate Summit

Sydney, August 22: A group representing over seven million Australians and more than $218.8 billion in economic activity has launched to call on the Morrison Government to commit to credible climate targets as global leaders prepare to gather in Glasgow in November for the make-or-break UN Climate Conference, COP26.
Better Futures Australia (BFA) held from August 16-19 is a network of hundreds of climate champions, ambassadors and partners from every sector of society and the economy – finance, business, resources, agriculture, health, faith communities, local and state governments, First Nations, unions, social services, the community sector and more. Among the hundreds of supporting organisations, over 70 have formally signed on to the Better Futures Australia Declaration, making them part of the global Alliances for Climate Action.
“Led by former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, US Deputy Special Presidential Envoy on Climate, Jonathan Pershing, and featuring former Irish President and UN Climate Envoy Mary Robinson, BFF will provide a platform for leaders to showcase their plans and achievements in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and publicly launch their collective commitment to ambitious national climate action,” BFA and BFF program manager Lisa Cliff said in a statement.
These leaders are demonstrating scalable climate solutions and success stories as they collectively urge the Federal Government to set emissions targets in line with our Paris Agreement obligations to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees celsius. 
Meeting these obligations means Australia has less than ten years to halve its emissions if we are to have a chance of reaching zero emissions before 2050.

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